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Underform Awards Honor Students for the 2019-20 Year and Kick-Off Virtual Commencement Week

Kelly Slonaker

The Underform Awards Assembly took place virtually on the evening of May 18 to honor Third, Fourth, and Fifth Formers for their academic accomplishments and extra-curricular leadership in the 2019-20 academic year. Held in Maguire Auditorium, the assembly was attended via Zoom by students and was livestreamed for faculty, family members, and friends. 

Head of School Rachel Stone addressed the community in her opening remarks and expressed gratitude to the faculty, and to students and their families for embracing distance learning and excelling despite the unpredictable circumstances this spring. Rachel also referenced several highlights of the year as well as growth exhibited by the entire student body: “These stories, friendships, accomplishments, and funny moments create and define the Saints community.  As I say every year: your experiences here — the relationships you build, classes, sports and instruments you try for the first time, faculty you learn to lean on and trust — and your individual growth that stems from those experiences . . . that’s the true prize, wouldn’t you agree?  So as we celebrate success and noteworthy performance this evening, please remember that these awards are an acknowledgement of excellent, persistent work . . . but not a definition of where you stand, or who you are, as students and people.”

Claire Kessing ’22 and Bryce Stone ’23 were selected for The Nicholas DiTullio Award ’01, presented each year to a girl and boy from the Third or Fourth Form who competes at the sub-varsity level and has demonstrated a love for and dedication to athletics. 

The Dr. Nelson Hume Speech Competition Awards were presented to the winners of the Underform Speech Competition. Lily LaVigne ’23 won for the Third Form, Isabella Carioscia ’22 for the Fourth Form, Fatima Nda-Isaiah ’21 for the Fifth Form, and Max Oeser ’21 was presented the award for Outstanding Speaker of 2020. 

Qixiu Yao ’22 was presented the Gerald A. and Therese J. Vanasse Choral Music Award. Given by the family and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Vanasse, the award is presented to the student who has demonstrated the highest level of leadership. Mr. Vanasse served as school organist, choral club accompanist, glee club director, music director of spring musicals, and shared his love of music with Canterbury students from 1960 to 1990. 

For excellence in the study of Vocal Performance, the Stephen N. ’43 and Lacey Hume Award was presented to Fatima Nda-Isaiah ’21. The award was given in memory of Trustee Emeritus and son of Canterbury’s founding Headmaster, Stephen N. ’43, and his wife, Lacey.  
Rachel Stone also presented a group of Fifth Formers with book awards; the awards are given by prestigious colleges and universities to outstanding high school juniors from participating schools. 

The George Washington University Book Award was given to Torin Kearney ’21. The award is presented to a student in the Fifth Form who embodies the George Washington drive and spirit, specific with their academic excellence, leadership outside of the classroom, diversity of thought, and ability to put knowledge into action.

In recognition of the value that the St. Lawrence community places on service to others, the St. Lawrence University Book Award honors the achievements of a student who has displayed significant commitment to community service. The award was presented to Katherine Delamere ’21.

Given to a student in the Fifth Form with significant academic potential and a commitment to making a difference in their school community, the Smith College Award was presented to Jia Yi Ji ’21.

Awarded to a student in the top 10% of the Fifth Form whose academic performance in advanced math and science courses has been outstanding, who demonstrates potential for success in a challenging academic setting, and exhibits significant involvement in extracurricular activities, the Rensselaer Award was given to Yurou Li ’21.

The Dartmouth College Book Award, presented to a student in the Fifth Form who is in the top 10% of the class, who has demonstrated strong character, has made a positive contribution to the school community and has excelled in at least one non-academic area, was awarded to Lexah Caraluzzi ’21.

Presented to a student in the Fifth Form who combines excellence in academics with significant achievement in extracurricular endeavor, the Harvard College Book Award was presented to Sandra Xu ’21.

Lorelai Lee Swanek ’21 was given the University of Pennsylvania Book Award. The award is presented to a student in the Fifth Form who is ranked near the top 5% of the class, is enrolled in the most rigorous academic program, demonstrates leadership in athletics and the school community, and is highly respected by peers and faculty for high personal and academic integrity.

Members of the Fifth Form class who earned a cumulative GPA of highest honors, are enrolled in a rigorous academic program, and challenge the most demanding courses in at least three disciplines were inducted into the Honor Society. Those students included Giselle Bradshaw, Lexah Caraluzzi, Katherine Delamere, Katherine Hawley, Jia Yi Ji, Torin Kearney, Yurou Li, Ella Olcese, Yishan Shi, Lorelai Lee Swanek, Sebastian Tseng, Andrew Xu, Kai Xu, and Sandra Xu.

The final awards of the evening were the Roderick Clarke ‘46 Distinguished Academic Achievement Awards, given by the Class of 1956 in memory of Former Headmaster Rod Clarke ‘46. It is awarded annually to the member of each class with the highest cumulative GPA. Lily LaVigne received the award for the Third Form, Hanyan Cai for the Fourth Form, and Sandra Xu for the Fifth Form. 

The ceremony concluded with two musical performances by the Canterbury Chorale, “Imagine” and “Hallelujah.”

Congratulations, Saints!

Livestream Recording

Musical Performances